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Yo. Siw. No; though thou call'st thyself a hotter name,
My name's Macbeth.
No, nor more fearful.
[They fight, and young SIWARD is slain. Macb.
Thou wast born of woman :But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn, Brandish'd by man that's of a woman born.
Alarums. Enter MacdUFF.
We have met with foes
Enter, sir, the castle.
Re-enter MACBETH. .
6 - wretched KERNES,] The word “kernes ” seems here used with greater licence than usual, viz, as mercenaries. We have already had the word twice in this tragedy, pp. 386, 387.
o Seems BRUITED.) i. e. Noised or reported. See this Vol. p. 284, &c.
On mine own sword ? whiles I see lives, the gashes
Turn, hell-hound, turn.
I have no words;
[They fight. Macb.
Thou losest labour.
Despair thy charm;
Macb. Accursed be that tongue that tells me so,
Macd. Then, yield thee, coward,
I will not yield,
7 And thou oppos’d, BE of no woman born,] The usual lection is being for “be," but surely there can be no reasonable doubt as to the fitness of the change made in the corr. fo. 1632, seeing the construction of the line immediately preceding. In the last line of this speech the old annotator cures a grammatical error by changing “him” to he, but as " him” was perhaps considered right in Shakespeare's time, and as he probably used the word, we make no alteration.
Yet I will try the last. Before my body
Retreat. Flourish. Re-enter, with drum and colours, MALCOLM,
old SIWARD, ROSSE, Thanes, and Soldiers. Mal. I would, the friends we miss were safe arriv'd.
Siw. Some must go off ; and yet, by these I see, So great a day as this is cheaply bought.
Mal. Macduff is missing, and your noble son.
Rosse. Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier's debt:
Then he is dead ?
Had he his hurts before?
Why then, God's soldier be he!
He's worth more sorrow,
He's worth no more :
Re-enter MACDUFF, with MACBETH's head upon a pike. Macd. Hail, king! for so thou art. Behold, where stands
[Sticking the pike in the ground'.
8 Exeunt, fighting.] According to the stage-direction of the folio, Macbeth and Macduff re-enter fighting, and Macbeth is slain before the audience. This seems hardly consistent with what afterwards occurs, when, according to the old copies, Macduff returns to the stage with Macbeth's head : perhaps the audience of that day delighted in a combat, and were gratified; but it seems nevertheless evident that Macbeth was "slain" out of sight.
Sticking the pike in the ground.j This stage-direction, and the previous in.
The usurper's cursed head : the time is free.
Hail, king of Scotland! [Flourish.
formation that Macduff entered with Macbeth's head upon a pike, are obtained from the margin of the corr. fo. 1632. They show the way in which the action of the tragedy was of old terminated ; and without it the words,
“Behold, where stands
The usurper's cursed head,” are hardly intelligible : they imply, however, that Macduff did not carry the head in his hand, and shake it before the spectators, as Richard is represented to have done with the head of Somerset, in " Henry VI., Part III.," A. i. sc. 1, Vol. iv. p. 116.